Starving the Beast, Not Seniors

It boggles the mind that after all the outright lies the media has spread about President Trump since he descended on the escalator in Trump Tower, people still believe them. I think people are so blinded by genuine hate for the man, they want to believe the worst about him.

Think about it. First, “Trump lied, no proof Obama ‘wiretapped’ Trump Tower.” Except, as the haters in the media always do, they took Trump literally. They never mention that in the infamous Tweet, Trump put wiretap in quotations. Meaning the word was to be used as an example of assorted surveillance. The New York Times used that exact same word in a Jan. 17 story about the supposed Trump/Russia connections.

We now know that there was a FISA warrant issued allowing the feds to monitor unnamed Trump associates past and present. This means that even though his personal phone may not have been monitored, he may have had conversations with someone who was. Until further clarification was obtained, it would be reasonable to assume it was his phone. Mind you, this warrant was issued to find a Russian collusion connection that still does not exist, except in the mind of the haters.

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We also know now that the crime committed was the leaking to the press of a conversation between Gen. Flynn and the Russian ambassador; a crime the FBI director would not commit to investigating.  We know that the leaking of that phone conversation was a crime because the director of the FBI said it was. We know someone was being “wiretapped” and it was OKed by the executive branch of the federal government. It would be reasonable to conclude somewhere Obama was part of this circle of shared information. He personally may not have ordered it, but his part of the government did and he had to have been made aware of it at some point.

Now comes a new lie that has social media all aflutter. After Trump released his “thin” budget proposal came this headline from The New York Times: “Trump’s Budget Would Kill a Program That Feeds 2.4 Million Senior Citizens.”

However, the reporters never took the time to examine the actual context regarding the relationship between federal block-grant programs and, specifically, Community Development Block Grants. Federal block-grant programs give states and localities a lot of discretion on where to allocate the money. One option is to add money to supplement Meals on Wheels funding. Some do use it for that purpose. But as Scott Shackford makes clear in his new piece for, that isn’t what Community Development Block Grants are mostly about. Community Development Block Grant funds regularly go into pork-barrel and business-subsidy schemes with a crony-ish flavor. That’s why the program has been a prime target for budget-cutters for decades, in administration after administration. It’s important to the Community Development Block Grant program’s political durability that its grantees wind up sprinkling a bit of extra money on popular programs mostly funded by other means. That way, defenders can argue that the block grants “fund programs like Meals on Wheels.”

If these reporters took the time to find the context between federal block-grant programs and the Meals on Wheels program, they would have found that this analysis was false. They could not do this because then it would not allow them to portray Trump as an uncaring billionaire who hates poor old people.  This was the story they wanted and by God it was the story they were going to write.

From the national Meals on Wheels website, the major source of federal funding for the programs, which accounts for 35 percent of overall budgets, comes through the Older Americans Act, which is NOT mentioned in spending cuts.

As of this time, and I believe the final budget will show, the primary source of funding, the Older Americans Act, which has supported senior nutrition programs for 45 years, will not be touched.

What makes me say that? Last week’s press conference with budget director Mick Mulvaney where he repeatedly tried to switch the conversation over to the shortcomings of the wider Community Development Block Grant program, and did NOT bring up the point about Older Americans Act funding at all.

No, Trump will not let old people starve, but he is trying to keep his pledge and starve the pork-barrel pigs in government. It would do us well if he succeeds. My advice, before you go off the deep end, give any report you read at least 72 hours to shake out. You will find, more times than not, you were again lied to by the media.

This is what I say. What say you?

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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